help with plants... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy help with plants...

im a noob when it comes to real plants so im needing a little help.

when i first set up my 55 gal i bought 5 plants. they have been doing well for several months up until lately.

i have 3 kinds...2 look to be amazon sword & 1 a smaller leafed version. the problem im having is that they are starting to look like skeletons...meaning the vains are in tack but the parts between are disolving away. maybe another way to put it is they look like little nets. they are still green but with a little browning on the edges.

i will try to get some pics when i find my camera

thx in advance for your help.

i love fish...but i don't like to eat them
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nice pirhana View Post
im a noob when it comes to real plants so im needing a little help.

when i first set up my 55 gal i bought 5 plants. they have been doing well for several months up until lately.

i have 3 kinds...2 look to be amazon sword & 1 a smaller leafed version. the problem im having is that they are starting to look like skeletons...meaning the vains are in tack but the parts between are disolving away. maybe another way to put it is they look like little nets. they are still green but with a little browning on the edges.

i will try to get some pics when i find my camera

thx in advance for your help.

I know exactly what your talking about. Can't remember if that is a light issue or fert problem. Swords are moderate to low light plants, but you probably need at least 2 watts per gallon. There are many good "light experts" on here - not me What type of light and wattage are you using? Are you using a fertilizer? You should be, and most recommend Seachem Florish Comprehensive. You can get root tabs also, and put that in the substrate next to the plant.

Gwen

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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wonder why it took so many months for it to happen. nothing i can really do about the light cause its in the living room w/ lots of windows.

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post #4 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 11:41 AM
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What do you mean you can't do anything about the light? What kind of lighting do you have over the tank? Sunlight, unless it is very direct, will do little for the growth of the plants in your tank so you really can't count that. It will however cause huge algae issues. Also, swords are heavy root feeders. You need to get some root tabs if you have them planted in inert gravel or sand.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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What do you mean you can't do anything about the light? What kind of lighting do you have over the tank? Sunlight, unless it is very direct, will do little for the growth of the plants in your tank so you really can't count that. It will however cause huge algae issues. Also, swords are heavy root feeders. You need to get some root tabs if you have them planted in inert gravel or sand.
the light i have on the tank is a 40 watt. sometimes i leave it on all day. i have them in gravel.

what is root tabs?

i love fish...but i don't like to eat them
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 11:56 AM
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Here is a good discussion of light, at least is was for me. I was thinking in terms of watts per gallon, and this discussion gave me added perspective. I am very much not an expert so I enjoy reading what others think:
PAR vs Distance, T5, T12, PC - New Chart
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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wonder if my problem may be nitrate related. i have been having a prob with that lately. last night i did a 1/3 water change & this morning it still read 80+ ppm on my api master test kit.

my ammonia & nitrite are both 0 ppm. what can i do to knock that nitrate level down asap?

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post #8 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 12:16 PM
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wonder if my problem may be nitrate related. i have been having a prob with that lately. last night i did a 1/3 water change & this morning it still read 80+ ppm on my api master test kit.

my ammonia & nitrite are both 0 ppm. what can i do to knock that nitrate level down asap?

Wow, that's a huge nitrate level! Yikes. I'd do a 50% water change immediately. I'm sure plants aren't effected by high nitrates, but fish sure are. Make sure you do shake that regent #2 bottle for 2 minutes (recommended by Byron) to get an accurate reading. Also, test your tab water to see if you have any nitrates in your tap.

Root tabs you can buy at any fish store. They are safe and are just inserted in the gravel you have, next to the plant. You'll see a big difference if you get those. I don't think a 40 watt is sufficient for a 55 gal, so this could be a light issue.

Gwen

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post #9 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 12:40 PM
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Regarding the light, 40 watts usually means one 48" T8 fluorescent tube. If so this should be enough for these plants, but the newer bulbs of this size are 32 watts, so this may mean that the bulb is older. If it is has been in use for more than a year or so it should be replaced as these type bulbs put out less light over time.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-07-2012, 01:19 PM
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Agree on the light; tubes must be replaced every 12 months to ensure consistent sufficient light. But this problem, which I have in one tank, is nutrient-based.

What substrate do you have? What is your tap water GH? What is the water change schedule (how much of the tank, and how often)? Are you using any fertilizers, and if yes, which and how often? And what substances are going in the water (which conditioner, plus anything else)?

The nitrates is a real concern, but the above info will help sort this out too.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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